Many people use the hard hitting and flat shooting 7mm Rem Mag for hunting elk, deer and many other species of game with excellent results. Here are a few great 7mm Rem Mag ammo options that will serve you very well on your next hunt.
The 7mm Remington Magnum cartridge made a giant splash when first introduced in the 1960s along with the legendary Model 700 bolt action rifle. The cartridge quickly became a favorite of North American hunters. Indeed, the 7mm Rem Mag is an incredibly effective and versatile hunting cartridge when using high quality ammunition loaded with premium bullets. Not surprisingly, the 7mm Remington Magnum remains one of the most popular centerfire rifle cartridges in the world today.
For that reason, just about every big ammunition manufacturer like Barnes, Black Hills, Browning, Fiocchi, Federal Premium, Hornady, HSM, Norma, Nosler, Prvi Partizan (PPU), Remington, Sierra, Swift, and Winchester produces several different variants of 7mm Rem Mag ammo for hunting elk, deer, moose, bear, and many other big game animals.
Known for being relatively flat shooting, being really accurate, and for retaining lots of kinetic energy at extended range, versatility is the name of the game with the 7mm Rem Mag. The cartridge is well suited for hunting a wide range of big game at short, medium, and even long range.
However, different situations (like deer or pronghorn at long range vs moose at short range) necessitate the use of different kinds of 7mm Rem Mag ammo for best performance.
Using the wrong kind of 7mm Mag ammunition can lead to disastrous results.
For example, the 7mm Remington Magnum developed a reputation among elk hunters as a “wounder” a few years after Remington released the cartridge.
This was primarily because 7mm Mag factory ammo initially used bullets poorly suited to the high velocities produced by the cartridge. Those lightweight, thin jacketed bullets performed very well at slower 7mm Mauser velocities, but would expand far too rapidly, sometimes explosively, upon impact when fired at 7mm Rem Mag velocities (about 400-500fps faster).
Bullet penetration was terrible in those cases. Sometimes the bullet would “grenade” upon impact and fail to reach the vitals when striking a bone or a heavily muscled shoulder of a big bull elk. The result was some horrific flesh wounds that were often not immediately fatal to the elk.
Fortunately, that problem has since been fixed and hunters now have access to a great selection of controlled expansion 7mm bullets that perform very well on really big game like elk and moose.
Lightweight 139 or 140 grain bullets are great for deer hunting, but hunters who use those lighter bullets on larger game may still experience issues with poor penetration, especially on steeply quartering shots. However, the 7mm Remington Magnum is absolutely deadly on really big game like moose and elk when using premium quality 160-175 grain bullets.
Keep this in mind when you select 7mm Rem Mag ammo for an upcoming hunt.
Additionally, while they are very accurate and are certainly capable of killing big game animals, I don’t recommend using bullets designed for target shooting like the Sierra MatchKing hollow point boat tail (HPBT) or Hornady ELD Match for hunting. The same goes for open tip match (OTM) or boat tail hollow point (BTHP) bullets in general.
This is because target or match bullets usually aren’t designed for optimum terminal performance on big game animals and you may run into issues like I described earlier with poor penetration.
Instead, it’s best to stick with 7mm Remington Magnum ammo specifically designed for hunting that uses soft point, jacketed hollow point, or similar bullets.
Fortunately, there is a wide variety of 7mm Rem Mag Mag factory loads specifically designed for just almost any big game hunting situation from Colorado to New Zealand. So, regardless of whether you’re using a bolt action Remington Model 700, a Ruger Hawkeye, a Savage 110, a Weatherby Vanguard, a Winchester Model 70, or some other hunting rifle, there is pretty much guaranteed to be something for everyone on the list below of the best 7mm Rem Mag ammunition for hunting.
In this article, I’m going to show you the best 7mm Rem Mag ammo for hunting elk, moose, feral hogs, deer, pronghorn, black bear and all sorts of other big game. I’ll also go over the pros and cons of each individual load and help you select the right ammunition for your specific hunting situation.
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The 7mm Remington Magnum is an excellent long range cartridge and Hornady’s Precision Hunter line contains an outstanding 7mm Rem Mag ammo option for hunters looking to squeeze every bit of long range performance out of the cartridge. Loaded with the extremely aerodynamic Extremely Low Drag eXpanding (ELD-X) bullet, this ammo is perfect for western hunters going after game like elk, mule deer, or pronghorn who need the very best 7mm Rem Mag ammo for a long range hunting situation.
Hornady advertises that the ELD-X bullet has the best-in-class ballistic coefficients over their entire trajectory and that their Precision Hunter ammunition also offers match grade accuracy (usually sub-MOA).
Though the ELD-X does not have a bonded core like the Hornady InterBond, the ELD-X does feature a thicker jacket and an InterLock ring to help control expansion, increase weight retention, and minimize the chances of core-jacket separation. For this reason, the ELD-X is still devastating on deer and pronghorn sized game, but it’s also a much better choice than their SST bullet used in the Hornady Superformance line for use on larger game.
Add it up and you have some 7mm Remington Magnum ammunition that’s capable of delivering great terminal performance on a wide range of big game for shots at 400+ yards.
- Bullet Type: Hornady Extremely Low Drag eXpanding
- Bullet Weight: 162 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .631
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,940 feet per second
Federal Premium and Nosler both produce 7mm Remington Magnum ammunition featuring the legendary Nosler Partition, which will very likely fit the bill for those looking for some seriously heavy hitting 7mm Rem Mag ammo for elk, moose, or bear hunting. Loaded with a 160 grain Nosler Partition bullet, this load is perfect for hunting really big game where it’s really important to use a heavy, well constructed bullet.
If this ammo shoots accurately in your rifle, then it’s hard to go wrong with a 160 grain Nosler Partition for elk hunting.
With that in mind, this is also perfect 7mm Rem Mag ammunition for an African safari where really large or tough game like kudu, blue wildebeest, or eland are on the menu. This ammunition is not limited to really big, tough game either. Indeed, it’s also great for game like whitetail and mule deer.
While this load doesn’t have the flattest trajectory out there, it still retains energy very well and is absolutely deadly on all manner of game at typical hunting ranges. So this is some outstanding 7mm Rem Mag ammo for shots out to several hundred yards.
The Nosler Partition is a very old bullet design, but it remains one of the best hunting bullets around and has a proven track record over the course of many decades and won’t let you down at the moment of truth. There’s a reason why it’s so darn popular with those who prefer to use handloaded ammunition as well as factory loads.
With proper shot placement, this ammunition will deliver excellent performance if it hits bone or soft tissue at short range as well as at several hundred yards. Just aim for the vitals, do your part as a shooter, and the bullet will do the rest.
- Bullet Type: Nosler Partition
- Bullet Weight: 160 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .475
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,950 feet per second
Nosler Trophy Grade line of ammo will fit the bill for those looking for some 7mm Rem Mag ammo for deer, elk, bear or moose hunting, but who also want a little bit better performance at longer range than the 160gr Nosler Partition discussed earlier.
This ammunition uses either a 140 grain or a 160 grain AccuBond bullet. It’s not quite as robustly constructed as the Nosler Partition, but the lead core is chemically bonded to the jacket, so you don’t have to worry about the bullet “grenading” or expanding too rapidly upon impact. This makes the AccuBond a much better choice for an elk hunt than other tipped bullet options from Nosler, like the Nosler Ballistic Tip.
At the same time, AccuBond bullets are much more aerodynamic than the Partition and will reliably expand at lower impact velocities. So, this ammunition provides delivers nice extended range performance without being too fragile for close range shots on big game.
I’d recommend using the 140 grain AccuBond bullet for game like deer and pronghorn. The 160 grain AccuBond will also work great on deer sized game (to include antelope), but is also a really good choice for larger and tougher game like black bear and elk.
- Bullet Type: Nosler AccuBond
- Bullet Weight: 160 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .531
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,925 feet per second
Nosler Trophy Grade ammo also made cut for my holiday gift recommendations. To see what other stuff is on the list, check out the following article:
Fans of Barnes bullets are in luck because Barnes produces some great 7mm Rem Mag ammo as part of their VOR-TX line. Featuring their legendary copper Triple Shock X (TSX) and Tipped Triple Shock X (TTSX) bullets, this ammunition is designed for rapid expansion, high weight retention, and deep penetration. Available using 140 grain, 150 grain, or 160 grain 7mm bullets, Barnes offers three outstanding choices for hunters regardless of what they’re after.
The 160 grain load is an excellent choice of 7mm Rem Mag ammo for elk, deer, bear, and moose hunting. While it’s not designed for longer range performance, it’s great for shots at typical hunting ranges and retains over 1,500ft-lbs of energy out past 400 yards.
The load featuring a 150 grain Barnes TTSX will also work for larger game like elk, but it’s perfect for bigger deer, bear, and pronghorn. That high velocity 140 grain load is great 7mm Rem Mag ammo for deer and pronghorn hunting, especially for hunters who want a couple hundred extra fps and a really flat trajectory to minimize their holdover for a longer shot.
All three loads are also 100% copper, which makes them an ideal choice of 7mm Rem Mag hunting ammunition for use in states like California that that don’t permit the use of lead bullets.
I’m a big fan of the Barnes VOR-TX line and I’ve used this ammunition with a lot of success on both deer and pronghorn over the past few years. This ammo is also a favorite among many North America, New Zealand, and Africa hunting outfitters.
- Bullet Type: TTSX Boat Tail or TSX Boat Tail
- Bullet Weight: 140 grains (TTSX), 150 grains (TTSX), or 160 grains (TSX)
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .412 (140gr) .450 (150 gr), .443 (160 gr)
- Muzzle Velocity: 3,100 feet per second (140gr), 3,060 feet per second (150gr), or 2,950 feet per second (160gr)
If you’re a “meat and potatoes” kind of hunter who wants some reasonably priced and dependable 7mm Rem Mag ammo for hunting deer, elk, feral hogs, and black bear, then Remington’s 175 grain Core-Lokt soft point will probably work really well for you. It’s also available with either a 140 grain or a 150 grain bullet, both of which are great for deer hunting.
It’s not the latest and greatest stuff by any means. Heavier bullets with a higher sectional density (like the load with a 175 grain bullet), tend to penetrate pretty well, even if they don’t have a cutting edge design. This 7mm Rem Mag ammunition has been around for a long time and countless hunters have successfully used Core-Lokt ammo to take just about every species of big game in North America.
One of those bullets through the vitals of a black bear, elk, deer, or pronghorn will make for a very short tracking job. They don’t call it the “deadliest mushroom in the woods” for nothing.
That said, this would not be my first choice for use on bigger game like elk or moose. However, it will absolutely work in that role and lots of elk and moose hunters use this ammunition successfully each year, especially on cow elk or immature bulls.
However, this ammunition is very reasonably priced and has one of the lowest costs per round out of all the 7mm Rem Mag ammo on this list. If you’re on a strict budget and can’t afford premium ammunition, then I’d suggest using the 175 grain Remington Core-Lokt load above any of the other “budget” 7mm Rem Mag ammo options.
- Bullet Type: Core-Lokt Pointed Soft Point (PSP)
- Bullet Weight: 175 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .427
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,860 feet per second
Federal includes the 7mm Remington Magnum in to their Terminal Ascent line, which is great news as it’s another good option of 7mm Rem Mag hunting ammo for hunters looking for really good extended range performance using a tougher bullet. This ammunition uses the new Terminal Ascent Bullet, which is are also extremely aerodynamic and accurate high performance bullets. It’s not quite as aerodynamic as the Hornady ELD-X, but it still has a relatively high BC and is also much more robustly constructed.
With those things in mind, I personally tend to lean more towards the Terminal Ascent over the ELD-X for hunting bigger game like elk with the 7mm Rem Mag. This ammo is another great option for hunters going after game out west like mule deer or pronghorn who need excellent 7mm Rem Mag ammo for a long-range hunting situation.
If this ammunition shoots accurately in your rifle, this is another good option (along with the 150gr Hornady CX) for hunters who need good 7mm Rem Mag ammo for elk hunting because it’s such a tough bullet that can be counted on for devastating performance on all manner of game at virtually any reasonable range.
- Bullet Type: Terminal Ascent
- Bullet Weight: 155 grains
- Muzzle Velocity: 3,000 feet per second (3,097 ft-lbs of muzzle energy)
It’s far from the latest and greatest stuff, but this Federal Fusion loading with either a 150gr or a 175gr bullet is really good 7mm Rem Mag ammo for deer hunting.
Fusion bullets have a bonded lead core to help with weight retention. Combined with a skived tip to help initiate expansion, Federal Fusion 7mm Rem Mag ammo delivers a really good balance of controlled expansion, high weight retention, and deep penetration that make it absolutely deadly on deer-sized game.
While Federal Fusion 7mm Rem Mag ammo is primarily intended for deer hunting, it will work on bigger and/or tougher game like black bear and elk under the right conditions. I don’t think this is the best 7mm Rem Mag ammo for elk hunting, but it will definitely work if you can’t find anything better (keep reading for what I think are better options for elk).
All things considered, this is outstanding ammunition for deer hunting though. It will also work great on similar sized game like mule deer, pronghorn, and feral hogs. In addition to being very effective in that role, this ammunition is also somewhat reasonably priced and has been one of the easier to find 7mm Rem Mag ammo options recently. It also has a reputation for being pretty darn accurate.
- Bullet Type: Fusion Soft Point
- Bullet Weight: 150 grains or 175 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .509 (150gr) or .537 (175gr)
- Muzzle Velocity: 3,050 feet per second (150gr) or 2,760 feet per second (175gr)
Berger bullets have long been favorites with handloaders. Fortunately, Federal Premium also offers 7mm Remington Magnum hunting ammunition loaded with the Berger Hybrid Hunter bullet as a factory load, so they’re not limited to those who use handloads. These bullets are known for exceptional accuracy and for being extremely aerodynamic. In fact, this is the most accurate 7mm Rem Mag ammo for many hunters and the Hybrid Hunter is less sensitive to seating depth than the Berger VLD.
Though they do quite often deliver match grade accuracy, the Berger Hybrid Hunter is not a run of the mill match bullet. Instead, it’s designed to provide devastating terminal performance on big game.
While most hunting bullets start to expand immediately upon impact, Berger bullets are designed to penetrate several inches before expanding. Then, according to Berger, the bullet will shed 40-90% of its weight (depending on impact velocity) and send countless tiny fragments off into surrounding tissue.
This produces a massive wound cavity and dumps most, if not all, of the bullet’s energy into the animal.
Those features make this load an excellent choice of 7mm Rem Mag ammo for longer range hunting situations, especially if you’re a proponent of the “energy dump” school of thought when it comes to selecting a hunting bullet.
- Bullet Type: Berger Hybrid Hunter
- Bullet Weight: 168 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .566
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,870 feet per second
Hornady advertises that their Superformance line of ammunition will safely deliver an additional 100-200 fps of muzzle velocity over than comparable loads. That extra velocity translates into a flatter trajectory, more resistance to wind drift, and devastating terminal effects on game. Since it uses a lighter bullet, it also has less recoil than many other 7mm Mag loads.
This ammunition is loaded with Hornady’s SST bullet, which has a reputation for great accuracy. Especially at the high velocities the ammunition is known for, that bullet will expand very rapidly, often at the expense of penetration. It will deliver devastating results on impact, but don’t expect exit wounds (even on a broadside shot), especially on bigger bodied animals.
With all that in mind, this is great 7mm Rem Mag deer hunting ammo. It is also an excellent choice for pronghorn, but I DON’T recommend using it on bigger game like elk.
- Bullet Type: SST
- Bullet Weight: 139 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .486
- Muzzle Velocity: 3,240 feet per second
Barnes also offers a loading for the 7mm Remington Magnum as part of their VOR-TX Long Range line. This ammunition is very similar to their regular VOR-TX line, but is intended to provide an accurate, flat-shooting bullet that will reliably expand out to 700 yards without sacrificing close range performance.
They were largely successful in that goal and this ammunition is another great choice for hunters who want good 7mm Rem Mag ammo for hunting at longer range.
The Barnes LRX Boat Tail bullets used in this line do expand at lower impact velocities than the standard TTSX or TSX bullets, but they’re still robustly constructed and won’t come apart at high impact velocities. So, you can use this ammunition with confidence on game from point blank range all the way out to 700 yards.
Barnes VOR-TX LR ammunition is also 100% copper, which makes it another good choice of 7mm Rem Mag hunting ammunition for use in states like California that that don’t permit the use of lead bullets.
- Bullet Type: LRX Boat Tail (LRX BT)
- Bullet Weight: 139 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .470
- Muzzle Velocity: 3,210 feet per second
Hornady introduced their Outfitter line of ammunition a couple years ago. Just like you’d think from the name, this stuff is marketed for those going on serious hunting adventures in really tough environments like a moose hunt in Canada, elk in the Rocky Mountains, or a kudu hunt in South Africa. That said, this is also great 7mm Rem Mag ammo to use on a whitetail deer hunt in the back 40 or on feral hogs in the Georgia swamps.
This ammunition is loaded with an extremely tough 150 grain CX bullet that’s designed for controlled expansion, high weight retention, and deep penetration on large, heavy boned animals like elk and moose. The CX replaced the old GMX bullet with the primary difference being that the CX has a higher BC. This ammunition also uses nickel-plated case for reliable feeding and corrosion resistance under the most demanding conditions.
With all those things in mind, it’s easy to see why Hornady advertises their Outfitter 7mm Rem Mag ammo for use on a big hunt that’s the culmination of years of saving and planning. After all, when the chips are down on the hunt of a lifetime, the absolute last thing you need is for your ammo to fail at the moment of truth.
The CX bullet used in Hornady Outfitter ammunition is lead free, which makes this ammo another good choice for use in states like California.
- Bullet Type: CX
- Bullet Weight: 150 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .455
- Muzzle Velocity: 3,000 feet per second
Winchester’s Deer Season XP line of ammunition is another good option if you’re planning on taking your 7mm Rem Mag deer hunting. The Extreme Point bullet this rifle ammo uses is similar to Winchester’s Power Point bullet, but the Extreme Point has a large diameter polymer tip that’s specifically designed to produce a gigantic wound channel along with massive impact trauma.
This normally results in a very short tracking job and a very easy to follow blood trail. Even so, Deer Season XP ammo is designed specifically to compete with popular whitetail deer hunting ammo like the Hornady American Whitetail, Winchester Super-X, Federal Fusion, and Federal Power-Shok in terms of accuracy, reliability, and terminal performance.
The Winchester Deer Season XP line is also competitively priced and has one of the lowest costs per round out of all the 7mm RM ammo on this list.
So, not only is this some very reasonably priced 7mm Rem Mag ammo, but it also has a very good reputation for producing a giant wound channel and minimizing the distance deer run after being hit. In fact, this Winchester ammo is one of my top recommended brands of 7mm Rem Mag ammo for whitetail deer hunting.
That being said, I would NOT recommend using it for bigger game like elk or moose. If you need a budget option for ammo suitable for hunting really big game, go with the 175 grain Remington Core Lokt I previously recommended.
Note: Winchester also makes a lead free version of their Deer Season XP line using copper bullets for hunters in areas where lead free bullets are required.
- Bullet Type: Extreme Point
- Bullet Weight: 140 grains
- Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .484
- Muzzle Velocity: 3,100 feet per second